* Jake Griffin…
State health officials today reported 7,098 COVID-19 patients were being treated in Illinois hospitals, 256 more than the previous day.
Of those hospitalized, 1,119 are in the ICU, a 10.8% increase from a week ago, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.
IDPH officials also reported 104 more COVID-19 deaths, along with 44,089 new cases of the respiratory disease.
It’s the first time more than 100 COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in a single day since Feb. 11, 2021. It’s also the highest number of new cases reported in a single day.
The 7-day rolling average case positivity rate is 14.7 percent. It’s 18.6 percent for the average test positivity rate.
Did you get your booster yet?
The number of children needing hospitalization for COVID-19 has roughly tripled over the last month at Advocate Children’s Hospital, doctors said Thursday, as Illinois continues to see record numbers of cases.
Since mid-December the children’s hospital, which has campuses in Park Ridge and Oak Lawn, has had about 25 to 38 kids in the hospital on a daily basis because of COVID-19 or COVID-19-related issues, said Dr. Frank Belmonte, the hospital’s chief medical officer, during a news conference. About one-fourth of those children are in the intensive unit, he said.
About 94% of the kids are unvaccinated, with many coming from homes where no one is vaccinated.
About half of the children hospitalized at Advocate for COVID-19 or COVID-19-related issues are younger than 5, he said. Children under the age of 5 are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.
* Speaking of kids…
CPS reported record new daily case numbers on Tuesday — 422 students and 274 adults. That was part of the first data to emerge from the two days of school that took place after the two-week winter break and before the cancellations.
Those figures are double the number of cases CPS was reporting when students and staff members started their holiday vacation last month.
As of Wednesday evening, about 9,000 students and a record 2,300 staff members were in isolation because they tested positive for COVID-19 or quarantine because they had come in close contact with an infected person.
…Adding… Plainfield SD 202…
Due to logistical transportation and staffing issues related to a rise in COVID related cases, we will be using an emergency day tomorrow (Friday, January 7th).
It will be a day of non-attendance for students and staff. There will not be remote learning tomorrow.
The day of attendance for January 7th will be made up on May 27, 2022, as part of our 5 emergency days budgeted into the 2021-22 school year.
* The Southern…
Southern Illinois University Carbondale is delaying the start of most in-person classes for the spring semester, opting for a week of remote instruction.
The university announced the plan in an email to the campus community Thursday morning. The spring semester is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 10.
In the announcement Chancellor Austin A. Lane said the delay of on-campus instruction will allow students and faculty to undergo COVID-19 testing prior to beginning in-person classes.
The University of Illinois released updates for their spring coronavirus guidelines. They’re remaining virtual for the first week of class
University of Illinois officials said they are now requiring students, staff and faculty to get a COVID-19 booster shot when they are eligible.
* Rockford Register-Star…
The Winnebago County Health Department announced 588 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the highest number of cases reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
The rolling 7-day test positivity rate has climbed to 16.6%. To date, there have been over 645 deaths in Winnebago County attributed to COVID-19.
Additionally, this week, Rockford hospitals — Mercyhealth, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center and UW Health SwedishAmerican Hospital — are providing in-patient care for over 200 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and persons suspected of being COVID-19 positive.
All local emergency departments are operating at peak capacity. As a result, the hospitals have voluntarily postponed some elective surgeries and procedures to preserve critical resources, including staff.
* Peoria Journal Star…
Faced with a record number of COVID-19 cases, area hospitals are limiting and suspending elective surgeries.
On Wednesday morning, UnityPoint Health announced that it was indefinitely suspending all elective surgeries at its central Illinois hospitals. Later in the day, OSF HealthCare announced that it, too, was temporarily delaying elective procedures – but on a case-by-case basis.
While officials at UnityPoint Health had been managing elective procedures since early December and temporarily postponing them as needed, the total suspension came suddenly when the number of hospitalized patients rose significantly this week, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Samer Sader said.
“We reached our peak numbers in the last 48 hours,” he said. “Over the last two days, we’ve broken our record from the previous wave (in December 2020 through March 2021).”
Current intensive care unit capacity is nearly exhausted, and about 80% of those beds are filled with COVID patients, Sader said.
* Headlines from the NBC5 live blog…
Bears Add Justin Fields to COVID-19 List
IDPH Follows CDC Recommendation, Urges Boosters for Kids Ages 12-15
* From a story in The Atlantic entitled “Should I Just Get Omicron Over With?”…
The problem, though, is that none of this is assured, especially when factoring in the thorny variable of time. Viruses that linger too long in the body could exact a punishing cost—transmission, disease, death. But if they’re cleared out too fast, they might not have enough time to teach the body something new. And those dynamics depend partly on when someone got their last immunological boost. Someone who’s very recently received a vaccine, for instance, might still be flush with antibodies that could swiftly sweep out the virus. Ellebedy, who was exposed to his COVID-sickened wife about a month after boosting and had pretty minor symptoms, thinks that’s what happened to him, which is great from a disease-severity standpoint, and potentially a transmission one. But a truncated infection might also cut short the immune system’s review session on the virus itself. Bodies will sometimes try to calibrate their defense to match the opponent’s offense, and trifling infections aren’t always worth a massive reinvestment in protection. A later encounter with the virus might spur cells to react more dramatically and squirrel away another slew of safeguards—but at the risk of a longer, more dangerous, and more contagious infection.
A bevy of other factors, too, can influence the magnitude of protection that’s tickled out by a breakthrough: age and health status; vaccine brand, dosing, and timing; the genetic makeup of the variant. (Most people have no way of knowing for certain whether they caught Delta, Omicron, or another SARS-CoV-2 flavor.) And while each dose of a particular vaccine offers essentially identical amounts of immunity-titillating stuff, actual infections don’t serve up the same dose to every person they hit. “The amount of heterogeneity in people’s immune responses is just incredible,” Taia Wang, an immunologist at Stanford, told me. Some recently infected people might experience only a modest bump in protection—which might not be enough to meaningfully stave off another infection in the not-so-distant future.